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Image: Detail from the brand storytelling deck for the project Escape by OCAD U 2021 Advertising graduates Sydney Mia Gittens, Nat Smith and Alvin Zheng.

Faculty of Design students receive national graphic design awards

Nine OCAD University current students and recent graduates from the Faculty of Design are among the 2021 recipients of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) Student Awards. 

The juried program received more than 850 entries from students across Canada. Launched in 1998, the awards program annually brings together emerging and established design professionals to promote excellence in the industry and to support the next generation of graphic designers in the country.  

As Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD U remarked, “The RGD Student Awards help the wider design communities recognize how the worlds of design are changing. The projects that won this year are not the same ones that would have won 10 years ago. Graphic Design is changing and the students’ who are being recognized this year are leading that change.” 

The award-winning work by OCAD U students represents a range of categories including typography, branding, logo development and digital design. Dr. Tunstall continued, “Respectful design is what makes OCAD U’s design students remarkable. In all the winning and honorary mention projects, you see our design students using their creative skills to celebrate culture and different ways of being with approaches that are inclusive, empathetic, and, basically, respectful.” 

OCAD U’s RGD Student Awards Winners 2021

Adel Bechara 

won the Premise Award for Strategic Design with the project Localizing Brands with support from Faculty of Design professor Isabel Meirelles. This project also earned Adel an Honourable mention in the Award for Social Good Design Category. Localizing Brands was Adel's thesis project in the Graphic Design program at OCAD U, in which he investigated and developed strategies (including custom typefaces) to make global brands culturally specific.  

Large Arabic letters stylized to resemble Google's brand identity with their signature blue, yellow, red, green colour palette.Image: A screen capture of Adel Bechara's award-winning project, Localizing Brands.

Sydney Mia Gittens, Nat Smith and Alvin Zheng 

are the recipients of the Forge Media + Design Award for Logo Design with their collaborative project Escape with support from Associate Professor Nick Goso and Assistant Professor Dr. Sugandha Gaur. Escape is a Canadian digital music platform that aims to amplify diverse local artists while encouraging listeners' musical exploration.

A woman holding a microphone performs in a dark music venue with moody purple lighting. The word Escape is overlaid on the photograph.Image: Escape logo design by Sydney Mia Gittens, Nat Smith and Alvin Zheng.

Maham Momin 

won the Context Creative Award for Storytelling Design with the project A Crooked Line, with support from Faculty of Design professor Keith Rushton. Her project also earned an honourable mention in the 52 Pick-up Award for Typography category.  A Crooked Line is a collective that Momin developed as part of her work at OCAD U in the Graphic Design program, that focuses on South Asian diaspora. For the RGD Awards she submitted a zine that uses typography to visually reflect displacement and fragmentation.  

A grid of images that show each page of Maham Momin's zine project. Images include black and white photos of people in South Asia overlaid with red dots and lines, accompanied by text laid out in a non-linear style.
Image: Spreads from Maham Momin's zine project, A Crooked Line. 

Honourable Mentions

Eldrin Banares 

received honourable mention in the Quake Award for Creative Innovation category for the project Draw Your Loneliness with support from Faculty of Design professor Isabel Meirelles. This project was Eldrin’s 2021 undergraduate thesis in the Graphic Design program at OCAD U and is a digital drawing platform that enables visitors to express feelings of isolation through creativity.  

A screen capture of a website with a digital drawing of two hands reaching towards each other.
 Image: An image submission to Eldrin Banares's Draw Your Loneliness website project.

Emily Lauren Gomes, Lily Hewitt and Jasmin Zhang

received honourable mention in the Entro Award for Placemaking Design category for their project Wear Your KRWN with support from Dean of Faculty of Design, Dr. Dori Tunstall and Professor Ann Urban.  For this project the design team developed a digital branding concept for KRWN, a female-led, Black-owned jewelry brand and virtual design studio which specializes in custom jewelry. Of the success of the project Gomes noted on behalf of her team, "We would like to give a big thank you for the generous time and dedication Ann Urban put into mentoring us alongside and into the completion of this project. Without her guidance none of this would have been possible."

Photo documentation of a poster campaign featuring portraits of young women. Image: Wear Your KRWN brand concept by Emily Lauren Gomes, Lily Hewitt and Jasmin Zhang.

Alvin Zheng 

received an honourable mention in the Award for Editorial Design category for the project Typography is Hard with support from Faculty of Design Associate Professor Richard Hunt. The project is an updated take on a conventional typography textbook, designed with an aesthetic that references risograph printing, a format that is known for its eco-consciousness and affordability.  
Images of pages from typography textbook designed by OCAD U student Alvin Zheng.
Image: Documentation of Typography is Hard, a typography textbook designed by Alvin Zheng. 

In celebration of the awarded students Dr. Tunstall notes, "Proud too poorly defines the depth of the feeling that I have about the creative contributions that you are making in the world. I admire how you are co-creating a place in design where your diverse histories and stories matter. You are the ones leading the decolonization of design."

Professor Isabel Meirelles added, "I am delighted to see the broader graphic design community recognizing the amazing work that OCAD U students are creating. I want to congratulate each and every one and wish them a most happy and fulfilling life as designers. I cannot wait to see what they will design next!"

More About the 2021 Recipients

Adel Bechara graduated from OCAD U in 2021 from the Graphic Design program and is interested in branding, typography and motion design. 

Eldrin Banares graduated from OCAD University’s Graphic Design program in 2021 and has a passion for producing creative coding experiences, publications, motion graphics and kinetic typography. 
Sydney Mia Gittens is a Toronto-based artistic director and designer whose work focuses on amplifying BIPOC voices. Sydney graduated from the Advertising program at OCAD U and was a 2021 OCAD U Medal Winner. 

Emily Lauren Gomes graduated from OCAD U’s Advertising program in 2021 and is a multi-disciplinary freelance art director and graphic designer. 

Lily Hewitt is currently studying Advertising at OCAD University and specializes in art direction and creative strategy. 

Maham Momin is a fourth year Graphic Design student at OCAD U, whose work focuses on design activism, typography and packaging. 

Nat Smith graduated from OCAD U’s Advertising program in 2021. Their work as a creative strategist supports underrepresented communities and empowers emerging artists. 

Jasmin Zhang is a fourth year Advertising student at OCAD U with an interest in graphic design, advertising and social media. 

Alvin Zheng is a Toronto-based designer and art director who graduated from OCAD U’s Advertising Program in 2021.  

News Summary
Nine current students and recent graduates from OCAD U’s Faculty of Design honoured with RGD Student Awards for graphic design.
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A streetscape, with the wall of a building cover in 4 posters promoting music events.

OCAD University Faculty of Design proudly present the work of the Graphic Design and Illustration Programs' 2021 Graduates at Fort York National Historic Site.

Running summer-long from June 14th , this open-air exhibition features approximately 100 projects from the 2021 graduating students in the 2D Undergraduate Design programs at OCADU.   

Open in the fresh air, in the heart of Toronto, this exhibition activates public space for people to get safely outside while exercising along the pedestrian pathway. 

Located on the East and South fences of Fort York National Historic Site (100 Garrison Road), this exhibition is free and visible during daylight hours.  Each poster in the exhibit has a unique QR code to link to further information and work by the student. The exhibit is installed along an asphalt pathway that includes a gentle grade change. 

Before your visit, please visit and the Roadmap to Reopen Ontario for information and guidelines. 

When visiting the site, please remember to keep a distance of at least two metres from people you don’t live with and wear a cloth mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distance. 

For more great Illustration and Graphic Design work visit: and 

 @tohistorymuseums, @ocaduniversity, @ocaduillustration 

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Coffee Chats w/ is a series of virtual casual gatherings with the CEAD team with industry guests. Hosted virtually in small intimate groups, these gatherings will provide a space for group conversations with practitioners who are interested in supporting OCAD U students and grads to offer mentorship, and share their professional insights and journey, while collectively creating an online community.

Tracy Cai is a Graphic Design graduate from OCAD University and is currently a Senior User Experience Designer at LinkedIn based in San Francisco. She designs for school/business pages on LinkedIn - admin tools for page management and the consumption experiences for millions of users.

Interested in joining our next Coffee Chat? Sign up here on Ten Thousand Coffees, and use the office hour feature to RSVP. Ten Thousand Coffees is an online mentoring and networking platform that’s used by emerging talent and professionals around the globe.  

Venue & Address
Open to all OCAD U students and grads

Coffee Chats w/ is a series of virtual casual gatherings with the CEAD team with industry guests. 

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Coffee Chats w/ Tracy Cai
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Last month, fourth-year Graphic Design students Kate Jung and Felicia Shane Evangeline won the top prize in the Adobe College Creative Jam with Activision, in which teams from schools around the world responded to the challenge to create an app that connects, welcomes and informs new gamers using the user experience design and prototyping tool Adobe XD.

This month, that winning duo came out on top again, with fourth-year Graphic Design student Sophia Choi to create team F.K.S. and placing as runners up with their project LINKD in the Adobe College Creative Jam with Netflix. This competition challenged nearly 1000 teams to use Adobe XD to create an interactive mobile prototype to create a connecting experience despite the pandemic.  

About team F.K.S.’s project, LINKD:
"LINKD is a central platform that bridges content from all your video streaming services. With a foremost focus on inclusivity, users can customize and adjust their interface to their preference, creating a video platform that is accessible for everyone. These controls can be accessed anywhere and anytime, with many accommodations also reflected in the platform (Dot indicators for active buttons, text labels for video content, text-to-speech options, etc.), bridging a critical gap for impaired users.

For social connectivity, users can share their cinematic experience with others by joining a friend’s stream in live time, collaborating in watchlists, or inviting friends to a scheduled Watch Party. While streaming together, they can video/audio call or chat — with members or wider LINKD users. Finally, the app’s data-driven predictions do not just cater content for the user, but also content that could be enjoyed with a friend —furthering the experience of shared cinema."

Kate and Felicia first participated in an Adobe Creative Challenge in April, with the Adobe x AirBnB Creative Jam, where they were also runners-up. “We’re absolutely hooked, and so glad to have teamed up with Sophia this time around! We'd love to share our experiences with other OCAD students and, are looking forward to future opportunities!” Watch for future Adobe Creative Jams opportunities.

Congratulations Kate, Felicia and Sophia! 

News Summary
Graphic Design students competed with nearly 1000 international teams in the Adobe College Creative Jam with Netflix to create an interactive mobile prototype.
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LINKD screen capture
Screen shots of Kate Jung and Felicia Shane Evangeline’s game connection app, Nexus.

A team of OCAD University students took the top prize this week in an online, international team challenge to create an app that connects, welcomes and informs new gamers using the user experience design and prototyping tool Adobe XD. The competition was held in collaboration with game publishing giant, Activision.

The Adobe College Creative Jam with Activision brought together 706 students from 156 different institutions from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, who formed into more than 300 teams for the intensive weekend-long event.

Competitors kicked off the event with a hands-on Adobe XD workshop on Friday, May 29, and competed in the fast-paced tournament to submit their projects on Sunday. In a live broadcast finale event on June 2, the ten finalist teams presented their projects to judges Raven Cruz-Fadden and Oscar De Leon-Sulecio from Activision, and Katarina Lackner from Adobe.

Among the finalists were teams from the University of California, Santa Cruz & University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Waterloo & Carleton University; University of California, Irvine; University of British Columbia & University of Virginia; York University; Academy of Art University; University of Waterloo; Sheridan College and Falmouth University.

Team ‘Daily Grind’ from OCAD U, comprised of fourth-year Graphic Design students Felicia Shane Evangeline and Kate Jung, was named as the winner for their submission, Nexus.

Nexus is a centralized platform designed to help adult, first-time gamers with busy schedules to start and enjoy game play, synchronously or asynchronously, with their friends. The platform asks questions about what types of games a user might enjoy in order to make game suggestions, offers game previews and tutorials, forums for help and guidance, friend challenges and badges and rewards for avatar customization.

Kate and Felicia each won $500 in Amazon gift cards, along with a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud (valued at $240 USD).

Congratulations Kate and Felicia!

Adobe Creative Jam
LIVE Adobe Creative Jam host Rachel Elnar (left) congratulates OCAD University's Kate Jung on her team’s first place win! See the interaction in this 15 second clip here.


News Summary
A team of OCAD University students took the top prize this week in an online, international team challenge to create an app that connects, welcomes and informs new gamers using the user experience design and protoyping tool Adobe XD. The competition was held in collaboration with game publishing giant, Activision.

Are you a recent grad or a final-year Graphic Design student at OCAD U?

The Ubisoft Toronto Communications team and the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers are excited to announce the Ubisoft Toronto Career Launcher.

UBISOFT is committed to enriching players’ lives with original and memorable gaming experiences. Ubisoft creates worlds where people can express themselves, explore, and discover new possibilities.

Ubisoft Toronto was founded in 2010 and has contributed to many award-winning Ubisoft brands including: Assassin’s Creed®, Far Cry®, For HonorTM, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell®, and Watch Dogs®. In 2018, the team at Ubisoft Toronto developed its first new IP, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, and is leading development of Watch Dogs: Legion. Ubisoft Toronto is one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for four consecutive years and in 2018, one of Best Places to Work.

Are you looking to work with enthusiastic experts who are tackling game-changing challenges in entertainment and beyond? Ubisoft offers an open environment where bright ideas have a chance to shine and everyone is eager to share knowledge. Challenge accepted? Join Ubisoft Toronto and Create the Unknown.


You will work directly with Ubisoft’s Lead Graphic Designer and Creative Services team. The successful candidate would be a strong visual communicator who wants to be part of a creative, dynamic, and innovative environment. You will design creative assets for web, social media, video, presentations, events, swag, studio space, and print that inspire and captivate the Ubisoft teams. You will work closely with other members of the communications and studio teams on design projects.


  • Sunday, February 23, 2020 at midnight


Located in Toronto's up-and-coming Junction Triangle neighbourhood since 2010, Ubisoft Toronto is a studio full of passionate and experienced game developers focused on making innovative and exciting games. With over 35 languages spoken, Ubisoft Toronto is as diverse as the booming city it calls home. At Ubisoft Toronto, we are passionate about positive culture. Ubisoft hosts monthly team celebrations, organize events for employees and their families, and we offer a variety of health and wellness initiatives like on-site yoga, on-site occupational therapists, flexible days, and an abundance of fresh fruit to promote a balanced life.

Ubisoft Toronto is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all interested parties. The studio welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities and are committed to providing reasonable accommodation upon request.


  • $21.63 /hr


  • Full-time 4 months paid internship
  • Starting May 2020



  • Recent OCAD U grad (2019) or current student graduating in spring 2020
  • Strong graphic design experience
  • Proficiency in Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), PowerPoint, and Keynote are required
  • Demonstrated experience designing for at least some of the following mediums: web, social media, video, presentations, events, swag, and print
  • Open to direction, can accept feedback and acts on it; adapts to change
  • Brings a positive attitude and desire to work collaboratively with other members of the communications and studio teams
  • Highly organized with excellent time management skills to meet multiple deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Able to demonstrate creativity, originality and resourcefulness when searching for solutions

Nice to haves

  • Previous experience in a creative industry considered an asset
  • Familiarity with both PC and Mac environments would be helpful (but not mandatory)
  • Understanding of design within brand guidelines would be considered an asset
  • Passion for the video game industry
  • Basic photography skills would be a plus
  • Illustration skills and/or an interest in illustration would be considered an asset
  • Experience with Adobe Premiere and/or After Effects would be a plus
  • Experience with WordPress (or similar CMS), HTML or CSS considered an asset


  • Current resume including full contact information (Name, phone, and email)
  • Cover letter outlining your interest in the opportunity and relevant experience
  • Creative portfolio (PDF or website). Please highlight 3-5 key communication design projects.


  • Apply via Typeform here
Venue & Address
115 McCaul, Level 3
OCAD University, Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers
Are you a recent grad or a final-year Graphic Design student at OCAD U? The Ubisoft Toronto Communications team and the Centre for Emerging Artists &Designers are excited to announce the Ubisoft Toronto Career Launcher.
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Career Launcher Ubisoft 2020
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Hiii Illustration 2018 International Competition received 1700 pieces of works from more than 50 countries and regions around the world. 673 works have been chosen to enter the second round, 241 works have been chosen to enter the third round, including 54 works from the Commercial group, and 187 works from the Noncommercial group. The Organizing Committee will announce the winner lists in August 2019. (TBD)


The following Hiii Illustration 2018 competition award categories listed below will be completed by the judges and will be completed as a finalized list of winners from the remaining 241 works selected.


The finalized list of winning works for the following list of competition categories below will be announced some time during August 2019 after the 3rd & final round of judging is completed are:


Grand Prix

Jury Award

Best of the Best (Commercial)

Best of the Best (Nocommerical)

Merit (Commercial)

Merit (Nocommericial)

Most Popular Award

Nominations (Commercial)

Nominations (Nocommercial)


Anson Liaw's illustration entitled, Part of Us (version 3) was originally created during the 2017 and was donated to help raise money to help feed and house previously distressed and/or abused monkeys at the Story Book Primate Sanctuary.


This illustration and many others were collected by illustrator artist, Anita Kunz from various wonderful contributing artists from around the world were auctioned off.

All money was donated to help feed and house the monkeys at the Story Book Primate Sanctuary.


Link to review some more information:

Marketing and Communications Faculty of Design
by Anson Liaw

Susan Campbell: We Made (Pretend) Plans


The solo exhibition, titled We Made (Pretend) Plans, opens on May 31st and continues until July 19th, 2019 at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri.


The overarching theme of the exhibition We Made (Pretend) Plans considers the ways that urban environments are manipulated and shaped. Campbell’s process of apprehending inscriptions and boundary marks found on site transpires into artworks which explore patterns of impermanence, perpetuated by technological developments in the production of space. The exhibition takes its somewhat playful title from her practice of reorganizing spaces into performative zones, using codes such as floor plans and clearance zones. The exhibition comprises a range of sculptural installations, photographic works, and video projections.


The artist acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


We Made (Pretend) Plans will take place from May 31st – July 19th, 2019, with an Opening Reception on Friday, May 31st, 6-8pm at the Foundry Art Centre.


Gallery III of the Foundry Art Centre is located at 520 North Main Center, St. Charles, Missouri.


Venue & Address
Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center, St. Charles MO 63301
Digital Screen
by Susan Campbell

Congrats Derwyn!

Marketing and Communications Faculty of Design
ocadu default
goodall  - wonder

Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University, is pleased to announce the public talk with Canadian design pioneer and newly-minted Member of the Order of Canada, Burton Kramer, has been rescheduled. Originally scheduled for February 6, but cancelled due to inclement weather, Mr. Kramer will be in conversation with Greg Durrell, director of the acclaimed 2018 documentary, Design Canada, and share insights into his experience in the nascent twentieth-century Canadian design industry and a career spanning five decades.

The President's Speaker Series lectures are generously supported in memory of Honey and Barry Sherman.

Please arrive early as seating is limited.

Doors open at 6:30pm





416-977-6000 x300
Venue & Address
100 McCaul Street - Auditorium (190)
Burton Kramer


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